We often associate a new year with a fresh start for ourselves; making new year resolutions, challenging ourselves to meet new goals and achieve more than we did in the year past.
This usually applies only to our personal lives, but why shouldn’t we make workplace resolutions too? Whether individual, or for your workplace in general, making achievable goals to stick to throughout the year can help you stay focused and on track.
Perhaps you’ll want to set more general resolutions, or maybe you already have specific ideas in mind. Whatever your workplace resolutions are, you’ll need to think about how to work towards achieving them. Here are some helpful steps to follow, to help you do just that:
Set SMART goals (or resolutions)
Resolutions are only different to standard workplace goals in name and timeframe, so applying the SMART mnemonic is still applicable:
- S – Specific. Specify exactly what you want to achieve
- M – Measurable. How are you going to measure what you achieve?
- A – Attainable. Don’t set resolutions that are unrealistic. What can you actually achieve?
- R – Relevant. How are these resolutions going to help you?
- T – Trackable. How are you going to track these resolutions? What’s your timeframe? (In this instance, most likely the calendar year!)
Document your resolutions
How seriously you take this depends on what your resolutions are, and whether they’re personal or for multiple people in the workplace. It also depends upon just how much pressure you think is necessary to achieve the resolution in the first place. From scribbling notes at the back of your notepad (or, more likely, writing a note in your phone), to pulling together a spreadsheet or other document. You’ll know what feels right for you.
Depending upon how you documented your resolutions in the first place, you’ll want to keep track of your progress in some capacity. Tracking progress is incredibly important – you may want to look back over how far you’ve come when you’re having a bad day or week.
Because resolutions typically last the calendar year, it can be easy to forget about them, or to believe that you’re not making any progress. Rewarding yourself (or team or co-workers) for making advancement with goals can be motivating – you don’t always need to wait until a goal is fully achieved to pat yourself on the back.